Shrimp Plant

Shrimp Plant in Vignette

Shrimp Plant in Vignette © 2012 Bo Mackison

The sun doesn’t shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the whole world’s joy.  ~ Henry Ward Beecher

Yes. There is a plant called a Shrimp Plant, and once you’ve seen one, you forever know why it is called the shrimp plant. It looks almost good enough to eat. Roasted shrimp from Tucson’s first 100˚ day – yes, indeed! I was hungry and they looked tempting . . .

I visited the Tucson Botanical Gardens this morning, thinking I could be back home before it became too hot. I was wrong. I spent way too much time photographing Zen Gardens and wheelbarrows and shadows and fountains and sprinkling cans . . . you get the idea.

Shrimp Plant

Shrimp Plant © 2012 Bo Mackison

I also photographed this Shrimp Plant just before I left the gardens. Yes, it was two in the afternoon and way too bright, but happily these plants were in the shade. And yes, I was a bit worn out and did not set up my tripod because I had just packed it in order to leave.  But the wind was cooperative, I suppose, in that there was no wind.  And so I took several quick snaps of these beauties.

Really! Have you ever seen a flower that was as shrimp colored as a shrimp? And a flower that was both shrimp colored and the shape of a shrimp?

From my internet research, I discovered that these are tropical plants, native to Mexico, but popular as house and garden plants in the states of Texas and Florida. I didn’t see any references to Shrimp Plants in Arizona, but I know where several are blooming.

Visit the Tucson Botanical Gardens to get a look at the real thing.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC.




About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. The name fits the flowers!

  2. Wow, very cool. Glad you’re enjoying your early Spring, Bo.

    • Hi Roma. It’s moved into summer, big time, in Arizona, but in a few days I’ll be time-traveling back to spring in the Midwest. It will be a big change.

  3. Too funny. I might have shrimp on the grill tonight. You made me hungry.

  4. How fascinating! I can actually see how the plant got its name.

  5. That’s a new one to me, but it’s a very pretty little thing!

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